Who Are You? with Paul Simmons, City of Olympia, WA

Posted on January 6, 2016

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Paul Simmons (Twitter) is the Director of the Parks, Arts and Recreation Department for the City of Olympia, WA.


In 2016, I will….

have my second child, ETA May 10th, 2016. That will be two under two for a couple of months, wish us luck.

I joined ELGL because…..

I want to connect with folks who are evolving and innovative, and I want to be better at what I do.

You should probably know that I….


…Am a complete and total Park & Rec nerd, I love what I do (and the answer is yes, I could totally be on the show)  

One thing you should know about my hometown is

…that I do not live there anymore. (not because I don’t like it, I just found somewhere that I like better)

If I had to buy a Fathead, I would buy

…Dan Marino, I’m a life-long Dolphins fan from Federal Way, WA (talk about a fish out of water)

Do you agree/disagree with the following statement(s)……Explain….

It’s better to be courageous than popular.

Agree, popularity is about impressing others while courage allows you to accomplish what needs to be done.

Local government has recovered from the recession.

Disagree, the recession will have a lasting impact on our economy and how we perceive our finances both individually and organizationally. Over and over again I hear people make comparisons to pre-recession revenue and staffing levels. Our new reality is what it is, we need to quit living in the past and find a way to be successful in the present.

I remember the days of Trapper Keepers and the overhead projector.


Agree, I remember learning to make overhead pages with the copy machine. Those were the days.

Improving walkability should be a priority for cities. 

Agree, I walk to work every day (usually, haha). Our ability to walk has impacts on climate, health, finances, and quality of life. This should be pretty common knowledge by now.  

I envision running for mayor or council one day. 

Disagree, I am destined to support those that have the desire to run for public office, but that is not me. Plus, there isn’t enough job security in politics.

Local government should expect more from employees.

Disagree, I work with some talented people who make a difference in our community every day. Local government should appreciate and value the many services that we receive from our employees that are often taken for granted.

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